Incentives. That’s what makes the world go around.
Think about it. Would you go to work tomorrow happy and excited, if your salary was doubled overnight? Or if cut in half?
Seems obvious, but we never willingly do anything unless we see merit in it. Thank you, inertia. Questions abound. What is it that I will get by doing this? What is in it for me? From a spirituality point of view, these might be terrible questions to ask. We are in fact always taught to reduce our attachments and desires. However, given that we are anyway in the material world and running after material things, we might as well put this to good use.
We may not be able to change our own salary / bonus, and nine times out of ten, the incentives provided to us are inadequate. But what if the incentive was the quality of our work and not the money? This is possible and only needs a mindset shift. There can be nothing more satisfying than seeing our own work done in the best manner possible, much like a Michelin star chef might marvel at his most requested dish. We must each think for ourselves. What incentivizes me? Is it money? If so, how much? And what do I need to learn / teach myself so that I get there?
We often mistakenly believe though that it is our quality of work alone that gets us into better positions. Sure, quality is important. But think about the mobile phone in your hands right now. It must have what, 100s of components in it? Such a beautifully crafted instrument. Do you think there is only one person on earth who knows to manufacture these to precision? No chance! So no worker is irreplaceable. Not even the leader of a nation (although some are better than others!).
While quality of work matters, quality of relationships matters even more. People may not remember the work you did for them. But they will remember the time you gave them, the attention you gave them, the affection you showered upon them and the empathy you treated them with.
And hence incentives are absolutely critical when dealing with people as well. Think of all the people you know in your professional life, personal life, sports life, gym life, hobby life, spiritual life and every other walk of life. How are they doing? How much better would they be doing if they had incentives that were aligned to their tasks at hand? When working with them, do they always do their role well, and does it somehow impair your work too? What is it that we can offer them, so that they enjoy their work – whatever it might be? The incentive doesn’t need to be monetary always, and therefore we don’t need to be someone’s boss in order to help them. It could even just be offering respect, admiration, love, concern and empathy among other things.